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Tales from Tol Eressëa  by shirebound

Written for the LJ 2009 Baggins Birthday Bash Great Mathom Exchange


'And how it draws one to itself! Have I not felt it? Even now my heart desires to test my will upon it, to see if I could not wrench it from him and turn it where I would -- to look across the wide seas of water and of time to Tirion the Fair, and perceive the unimaginable hand and mind of Fëanor at their work, while both the White Tree and the Golden were in flower!’ Gandalf, ‘The Palantír’, The Two Towers

Gandalf rarely found himself speechless, especially these days, but when he did, it was usually due to astonishment for or admiration of something involving hobbits. As he dismounted from Shadowfax and lifted down Frodo and Bilbo, he looked into their hopeful, eager faces and tried to compose himself.

“However did you know?” he asked softly.

“Pippin told us about his journey with you on Shadowfax, and all the things you talked about,” Frodo explained.

“You won’t be breaking any kind of rule,” Bilbo assured his old friend, his eyes sparkling with excitement. When he and Frodo had requested this ride, they had not told Gandalf why they wished to visit this place… until now. “We asked Elrond, who apparently told his mother, who happened to mention it to one of the Eagles, and I assume somehow Lord Manwë heard about it, and well…”

“It’s our birthday gift to you,” Frodo said, gazing up at the wizard joyfully. The Tower of Avallónë soared above them, and he reached out to touch the pure white, sparkling stone, smooth as glass. “Oh, isn’t it lovely?”

“Go on,” Bilbo urged Gandalf. “Now, be sure to remember everything, and if you can share parts of it, do let us know. Promise?”

“I promise,” Gandalf whispered. “Thank you.” He knelt to embrace them both, then straightened. Taking a deep breath, he began his ascent to the high, ancient chamber where the Masterstone waited.

"I knew he'd like it," Frodo said happily, settling down to wait. Shadowfax playfully nosed the hair of both hobbits, pushing long, wind-whipped curls into new and amusing shapes, before wandering a short distance away.

"A positively inspired birthday gift, my boy," Bilbo agreed, lying back on the soft grass. “I don’t know how we’ll top it next year. Still, how are we to explain all this to Lady Galadriel? We’re only giving her peach crumble."

"From your mother's very best recipe," Frodo reminded him.

"True, true," Bilbo chuckled. He looked up and up, to the top of the gleaming white Tower, and his imagination took him even higher.

“Do you think you’ll ever want to look into the Stone yourself?” Frodo asked.

“I longed only to see mountains,” Bilbo said contentedly, “and the most glorious ones in all of Arda are here in the West.” He closed his eyes. “And you?”

“Someday, perhaps,” Frodo smiled. “Happy Birthday, Bilbo.”

"Happy Birthday, dear lad."


Thither Elendil would repair, and thence he would gaze out over the sundering seas, when the yearning of exile was upon him; and it is believed that thus he would at whiles see far away even the Tower of Avallónë upon Eressëa, where the Masterstone abode, and yet abides. ‘Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age’, The Silmarillion

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